Jr. Rocks Figure in WLA Draft
by Janice Huckin
The General Managers of the WLA teams got together at the Firefighters Club in Burnaby Wednesday for their annual draft. All Jr. Shamrock graduated players were drafted, most to Victoria and Nanaimo but a couple of mainland teams also took a chance on island players.
The first pick overall went to Burnaby who took the first of three consecutive New Westminster Jr. Salmonbellies products, Kevin Crowley. Langley and Maple Ridge then grabbed Brett Mydske and Curtis Dickson. The Victoria Shamrocks, who did not have a first round pick entering the draft, traded the rights to Curtis Hodgson to New Westminster for the Salmonbellies’ first round pick, fifth overall, which they used to select Jr. Shamrock Kory Kowalyk. Kory is currently playing for the Washington Stealth in the NLL; his strength is that he is a big player with good hands who can go to the net to make a play. The Kowalyk family has a strong history with the Shamrocks with Kory’s grandfather, Norm Kowalyk in the lacrosse hall of fame as a builder and great uncles Ed and Ross also having worn the green and white. No doubt the family is proud to see Kory continue the tradition.
In the second round, Nanaimo swapped their 2nd round pick in 2011 to pick up New West’s second round pick this year and used it to draft Joel Henry from the Jr. Shamrocks. Langley, holding the 12th overall pick, selected last year’s Jr. Shamrocks captain, Matt Yager. Victoria then picked Michael Pires and Rhys Jones with the 13th and 14th picks to finish the second round.
Erik Sage went to Burnaby with the first pick of the third round.
Scott Stone was selected by the Nanaimo Timbermen in round 4, and Victoria selected defender Reed MacPhail with the 28th overall pick.
Greg Krstic, who was a goaltender last season for the Jr. Shamrocks was selected by Maple Ridge in the fourth round while Victoria used their pick to grab Tom Falkiner who was a part-time Jr. Shamrock player over the past 2 seasons. Other Jr. Shamrock players chosen by Victoria were Dylan Benard, Ben Towner and Trent Tabor.
Other players chosen by the Shamrocks were Jordan Weir from the Jr. Adanacs, Neil Tyacke a goaltender from the Jr. Salmonbellies, and Brendan Gibson.
A number of other Greater Victoria players and former Jr. Shamrocks were also taken as follows:
Ray Hodgkinson from Victoria, who played everywhere but Victoria last season, was taken 20th overall by the Nanaimo Timbermen
Trevor Gains who played his intermediate in Victoria but junior with the Timbermen, taken by Coquitlam with the 25th pick
Scott Davidson who played one year with the Jr. Shamrocks selected by the Burnaby Lakers in the fifth round
Rory Theriault selected by Nanaimo with the 44th pick.
Brian Jette taken 53rd by the Coquitlam Adanacs
Congratulations and good luck to all the draftees!
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